The Americans believe that Osama Bin Laden is not only alive but hiding in Pakistan. As the world reads these headlines, we merely glance at them and carry on with our daily chores. After about 8 years of living in a Pakistan that is leading this war of terror, us Pakistanis have learned that fear will only serve to paralyze us. This is not in the Pakistani blood, and so life goes on…
And as life goes on, so must the business of advertising.
While the war of terror has been in full swing, the ad biz has grown in double digits each year with growth touching 30% in 2007. There has been a slowdown since, but in no way is the industry showing any signs of recession.
With travel advisories in place, the evacuation of most of the diplomatic staff of Western nations, and the media constantly reminding everyone that Pakistan is indeed the most dangerous place on earth sheltering the most dangerous terrorist, courage has been shown by quite a few multinational brands.
We have seen the launch of L’oreal, Telenor, China Mobile, Range Rover and some smaller players like Cinnabon who have entered the Pakistani market despite these turbulent times.
Bombs may be going off in our overcrowded marketplaces, but there is nothing stopping consumers from rushing to the stores for the latest hair color from Garnier.
These companies may be new entrants in the market but they join the likes of Unilever, P&G, and the Nestles of the world. The majority of these companies have been posting record sales and profits in the past couple of years and contribute heavily to the overall ad spend in the country.
And though most of us are melting in the late July heat, praying the air conditioner won’t start spraying us with water again, there are hordes of people out there fighting to taste the latest flavor of ice cream by a local brand Omore, which has given Walls a real run for its money.
While we mourn for the families that have lost loved ones in today’s Air Blue plane crash over the capital city of Islamabad, sometimes it feels like all we have is courage, the courage to carry on…